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Do you use industrial robots? ANSI adopts ISO 10218–1 and changes the game

2009 December 11
by Doug Nix

Material Handling Robot at workIf you are an indus­trial robot user or inte­gra­tor work­ing in North America, you know RIA’s ven­er­a­ble robot stan­dard, RIA R15.06. This stan­dard was a ground breaker in it’s day, advanc­ing the safe use of robotic tech­nol­ogy in thou­sands of work­places in the US and Canada. CSA adopted R15.06 and pub­lished it, with a few changes, as CSA Z434, pro­vid­ing near-​​harmonization in the US and Canadian markets.

These two stan­dards brought the first inklings of risk assess­ment and con­trol reli­a­bil­ity require­ments to North American equip­ment design­ers and inte­gra­tors and broke new ground.

The last revi­sion of R15.06 was pub­lished in 1999, and the last edi­tion of Z434 was in 2003. In 2007, RIA made the bold move to begin har­mo­niza­tion with the inter­na­tional world by adopt­ing ISO 10218–1, Robots for Industrial Environment – Safety Requirements Part 1 – Robot. This stan­dard effec­tively replaces Section 4 of R15.06, cov­er­ing the design require­ments for the robot itself, leav­ing the safety require­ments for the rest of the work cell to the exist­ing R15.06–1999. This stan­dard brings some truly excit­ing capa­bil­i­ties to robot users, including:

  • Wireless Teach Pendants
  • Synchronized mul­ti­ple robots
  • Collaborative robotic appli­ca­tions and
  • Programmable safety con­trollers for enve­lope limitation.

When ISO pub­lishes ISO 10218–2 in 2010 the rest of the cell safety require­ments should be cov­ered in that document.

CSA is cur­rently review­ing CSA Z434 — they may choose to adopt ISO 10218–1 and (even­tu­ally) ISO 10218–2 once it is pub­lished, or they may choose to sim­ply reaf­firm the exist­ing stan­dard and con­sider adopt­ing the ISO stan­dards in another 5 years.

Need to know more? I pre­sented a webi­nar on this stan­dard on 19-​​Nov-​​09 through my friends at Pilgrim Software. The recorded webi­nar can be down­loaded here. A copy of the pre­sen­ta­tion slides is also available.

Watch the webi­nar (you’ll need Apple’s QuickTime player or a viewer that can play .mov files):
Are You Ready for the Coming Changes in Robot Safety Standards?

Post By Doug Nix (95 Posts)

+DougNix is Managing Director and Principal Consultant at Compliance InSight Consulting, Inc. (http://​www​.com​pli​an​cein​sight​.ca) in Kitchener, Ontario, and is Lead Author and Managing Editor of the Machinery Safety 101 blog.

Doug’s work includes teach­ing machin­ery risk assess­ment tech­niques pri­vately and through Conestoga College Institute of Technology and Advanced Learning in Kitchener, Ontario, as well as pro­vid­ing tech­ni­cal ser­vices and train­ing pro­grams to clients related to risk assess­ment, indus­trial machin­ery safety, safety-​​related con­trol sys­tem inte­gra­tion and reli­a­bil­ity, laser safety and reg­u­la­tory conformity.

Website: → Compliance inSight Consulting Inc.


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